September 19, 2012
September 24, 2012

Continuing the Oly-focused class work, Thursday’s program turned to the snatch, in particular focusing on the extreme ends of the lift: the initial pull and the overhead squat.

10 Pass Thru, 
20 OHS, 
10 Alt-T Push-Ups, 
10 OHS, 
20 Sotts Press, 
Bunny Hop Full Court 
4 x 3 Heavy Snatch Pull 

Over 5 months ago, we wrote a post on setting up and then performing the first pull of the snatch (“STARTING FROM SNATCH“). Both the post and the class it was based on arose after watching a workout wherein the majority of athletes, while working hard to use their hips properly and not pull early, were rendering that work moot with awkward set-ups and sloppy 1st pulls. As we noted in the post,

“It’s doubtful this was intentional, but you cannot start with something sloppy or out of place and then expect what follows to be efficient and well executed. To end well, you must start well.”

Thursday’s class consisted of 4 sets of 3 snatch pulls, each pull taken from the floor to the waist with no shrugs or high-pulls. The 3 reps were touch and go, and the lack of shrug or high pull allows the lifter to add more weight than they could snatch (suggestion was to shoot for 110% of your max snatch). The purpose of the heavy snatch pulls is to build control in the initial phases of the snatch. Remember, the goal of the 1st pull (from the ground to just past the knees) is to put the body in the best position for an explosive 2nd pull. Wrenching the bar from the ground as hard and fast as possible creates an long list of problems, each one compounding on another, quickly becoming an uncontrollable train wreck.

3 x 20 OHS, 10 Burpees, Church Run

To help the other end of the snatch, the receiving position, and more specifically the need to keep control over the core with the bar overhead, the day’s met-con was a favorite CFDC mix of OHS, burpees and a short run (250m). Each class was broken into groups of 3, with each group working through the triplet in order. So, once P1 had finished their OHS, they stepped away from the bar to do the burpees and P2 stepped up to start their OHS.

Definitely a tough combination, especially with the OHS programmed at higher-than-normal reps. Be sure to get out and enjoy the great Fall weather, and we’ll see you on Sunday (Elements = ring work and other sundry gymnastic-ky skills).



  1. Katie says:

    The snatch pulls confused my body a little, but a detailed explanation by Sara and the demo by Chris of deadlift vs. snatch pull helped out a lot. I worked up to 70# on these, and by the end felt more comfortable with them. I’m just hoping I can remember this good form when setting up for snatches.

    This was a brutal metcon. I wasn’t feeling happy with my performance afterward, but I figure I can look at this one of two ways:
    1) Glass half empty – I only did 25# to start and had to drop to 15# on the last 11 reps.
    2) Glass half full – I did 60 OHS, by far the most I’ve ever done, with more weight than the PVC.
    I’m choosing number 2. Another positive was that I felt like I didn’t have problems getting depth — my struggle was with stabilizing the bar. OHS are still the toughest movement for me, and my left wrist started really hurting. I dropped to 15# on the last set because I didn’t want to risk injury. Tough on the ego, but I think it was the right call. During the workout I was focused on my wrist so much, and it wasn’t until afterward I realized how tired my shoulders were — that definitely contributed to the instability of the bar as well. I need to focus on building my wrist strength in the coming months.

    Excited for ring work on Sunday!

  2. Julia says:

    same here, Katie – I was confused about what to do with the bar once I got past the knees. If I was snatching, or doing shrugs or hi pulls, I’d want to start accelerating, right? But since these were deadlifts only… all I needed to do was pick it up off the ground? And then what? (I say this like I didn’t still find ways to screw that part up.)

    Still somewhat confused. But I think Sara’s cue – hips down; Chris’s – keep the bar in close; & Tom’s – slow down the first pull – helped. (It sure takes a village.)

    & great working with Adriana and Sara for the metcon!

  3. Steph says:

    I love OHS! But I learned an important lesson last night – bail slightly earlier and get out of the way fast. Apologies for making a scene in the 7pm class and slowing down Barnard. Also, not sure why the hell I had my head down (in the picture and in several reps). First time that’s happened and thanks for Chris for pointing it out so I could correct it.

  4. SBV says:

    Got this workout in this morning. I ended up doing full snatch pulls and felt stronger than ever. I attribute most of it to being able to get into a good starting position. It’s amazing how much looser my body feels when I haven’t sat at a desk all day long.

  5. Sara says:

    Well as Julia said I worked with her and Adriana. I wasn’t really keeping track of my weight on the Sn DLs. I am pretty use to this movement now. I have been doing them pretty regularly for about 6 months.

    We worked with 73lbs for the metcon & I am pretty impressed both Julia and Adriana went unbroken on all three rounds of OHS.

  6. Erica says:

    Snatch pulls feel so much easier than snatches, hmmm, I wonder why. But I at least feel like I felt okay on the first half of the movement…second half not so much (yet). Worked with Amelia and Andraea on the metcon. Used 65# and Steph, I’m not sure what you’re referring to, but at least once a round, I knocked my head on the bar too.